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WPS staff surprised with Education EDGE and Koch classroom grants

WPS staff surprised with Education EDGE and Koch classroom grants

Southeast High drama teacher Martha Gates receives Koch classroom grant Fifteen teachers and school-based staff members across the district were surprised with the announcement that they received Education EDGE and Koch classroom grants to support their classroom projects. District administrators, members of the Education EDGE steering team and representatives from Koch surprised them in their classrooms to celebrate their grant.

More than $30,000 in grants was awarded.

The recipients are:

  • Stanley Elementary music teacher Dena Spechtenhauser received a $1,500 grant to purchase instruments for students to unite in cooperative learning through a variety of rhythmic and melodic activities.
  • Washington Elementary fourth-grade teacher Emily Bahl received a $1,500 grant to increase reading fluency and comprehension through take-home book bags.
  • L’Ouverture Elementary nurse Emily Runyan received a $1,500 grant to create indoor and outdoor sensory paths for students.
  • Heights High technology teacher Christopher Garza received a $1,500 grant to enhance the school’s VEX robotics team’s robots.
  • Earhart Environmental Magnet Elementary School environmental teacher Kasey Candea-Kromm received a $1,500 grant to purchase books that support the school’s environmental magnet focus.
  • Gammon Elementary School third-grade teacher Megan Berndt received a $1,500 grant to create an outdoor literacy and emotional regulation environment in an unused atrium at the school.
  • Mead Middle School library media specialist Christy Goentzel received a $1,500 grant to purchase books to enhance the school’s book collection.
  • Dunlap Transition Center at Chisholm teacher Kevin Loss received a $1,500 grant to purchase audio/visual equipment for students to be able to learn how to create and edit video recordings.
  • Seltzer Elementary School library media specialist Paula Mierowsky received a $1,500 grant to purchase e-books for remote students.
  • West High School social studies teacher Nicholas Green received a $1,500 grant to purchase equipment to enhance the school’s eSports program.
  • North High School science teacher Hannah Kelderman received a $3,000 Koch classroom grant to create a new Project Lead the Way course called Engineering Essentials to introduce students to careers in STEM.
  • Spaght Science and Communications Magnet Elementary School music teacher Candida Wise received a $3,000 Koch classroom grant to create a drum circle program to help increase STEM conceptual literacy.
  • Heights High School interrelated teacher Eric Hansen received a $3,000 Koch classroom grant to create an outdoor STEM lab which will feature an organic farm and irrigation system. Students will grow fruits and vegetables which will then be sold to create funds to sustain the program.
  • Southeast High School drama teacher Martha Gates received a $3,000 Koch classroom grant to purchase sewing machines for theatre classes where students can use them to focus on their STEM skills in designing costumes, scenery and other items.
  • Harry Street Elementary School library media specialist Jessica Schmidt received a $3,000 Koch classroom grant to purchase Ozobot robots, a green screen and picture books to increase engagement in learning literature.

 

Click here to watch a video news story of the surprise classroom visits.

Click here to see a photo album of all of the Education EDGE and Koch classroom grants

The recipients will be recognized at the March 8 Board of Education meeting.

The Education EDGE is the district's educational foundation, allowing private donors to support three key areas – classroom mini-grants, fine arts and athletics – not supported by traditional funding resources. Since the foundation began in 2005, the district has invested more than $1.275 million in these key areas. For more information about the Education EDGE, or to donate, visit. www.usd259.org/edge.

Koch classroom grants support school-based licensed staff in their efforts to provide innovative, quality educational opportunities to students. The grants are limited to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) or business entrepreneurship classroom projects that are aligned with the district’s Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) initiative.

 

February 24, 2021